Sca­nia stands alone

The truck maker will stay in­de­pen­dent within VW, writesGRAHAMSMITH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

IT’S busi­ness as usual at Sca­nia with lit­tle or no change af­ter be­ing ac­quired by VW. That was the view of Stephan Schaller, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of VW Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles, and a mem­ber of the Sca­nia board, and Sca­nia’s CEO Leif Oestling when they were asked about VW’s plans for the Swedish truck maker at the re­cent Hanover truck show.

Both agreed VW would keep Sca­nia as a pre­mium truck brand and would not — as had been feared — merge it with VW’s Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles op­er­a­tion.

In­dus­try scut­tle­butt had it that VW would merge Sca­nia with its own com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles and re­badge Sca­nia trucks as VWs.

But Schaller was quick to re­fute the sug­ges­tion, say­ing VW would main­tain Sca­nia as an in­de­pen­dent brand, just as it does with Audi, Bent­ley and Lam­borgh­ini.

Ab­sorb­ing Sca­nia into VW Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles will risk dam­ag­ing the brand, Schaller tells Big Wheels at Hanover.

‘‘It is our (VW’s) in­ten­tion to make Sca­nia the ninth brand in our group. Sca­nia is a jewel in the truck in­dus­try and we def­i­nitely will not do any­thing that dam­ages it,’’ he says.

‘‘In fact, just the op­po­site, we will do ev­ery­thing we can to strengthen the brand. The brand is the most valu­able thing we have.’’

Schaller also re­jects the idea VW may ex­port its Brazil-made Con­s­tel- la­tion trucks to Europe or Aus­tralia.

The Con­stel­la­tion is de­signed for de­vel­op­ing mar­kets like South Amer­ica, Asia and Africa, he says, and does not meet the re­quire­ments of gov­ern­ments or cus­tomers for de­vel­oped mar­kets such as Europe and Aus­tralia.

Oestling says the VW takeover is a friendly one that will se­cure the fu­ture of the Swedish truck maker.

He says that un­der VW own­er­ship Sca­nia will stand alone in heavytrucks, just as VW’s other brands re­tain their in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

While pre­dict­ing a set­tled fu­ture for Sca­nia within VW, Oestling says the com­pany’s Aus­tralian arm is in for a pe­riod of calm af­ter three new manag­ing direc­tors within two years.

Oestling apol­o­gises for the man­age­ment changes.

‘‘We have been chang­ing too much, but the guy there now will be stay­ing for some years. I am very sorry for the changes, but it was not planned that way,’’ he says.

Boy from Brazil: the VW Con­stel­la­tion truck is des­tined for de­vel­op­ing mar­kets.

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